Lao People’s Democratic Republic: responding to rice price inflation
The objective of this study is to identify likely factors driving the 2010 rice price hike and suggest options to manage rice price volatility in the future. Regional trade is likely the main proximate cause for high glutinous rice prices. Trade with Vietnam was likely the main reason for short-term price fluctuations, while trade with Thailand affects medium- and long-term price trends. By contrast, traditional supply and demand factors explain only a small part of rice price inflation. There is, however a possibility that major supply shocks may be regional, which could affect Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam simultaneously. The effectiveness of government policy measures has been mixed. There is a need to closely coordinate rice production and trade policies in order to effectively manage price volatility. Future analysis should look at regional glutinous rice production trends and related trade flows.
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